When Nick McKeon was ready to open another restaurant and bar—the first was Copper Door Tavern on Third Ave.—how could he resist the old Fitz’s Pig N’ Whistle space on Greenwich? “I worked there when I was a kid,” he says.
The Tribeca Tap House is a “significant upgrade” over the Copper Door Tavern, but it’s still designed to be laid-back and fun: “I thought the area needed a more casual place. Going out shouldn’t always be a big deal.” So McKeon asked himself, If Fitz’s Pig & Whistle opened today, what would it be like?
At the risk of bringing to mind a mullet, the Tap House is ready for happy-hour partying in front, and mellower dining in back, with seating for around 80, including several wooden booths. Downstairs is a private party room for 75 people, the kitchen, and restrooms. McKeon paid respect to Fitz’s Pig N’ Whistle by hanging its old sign in the dining area, but otherwise the space was completely renovated. The bar is made with reclaimed wood, the brick that had already been painted was repainted, and a sheet-rock wall was removed, the better to show off a gorgeous brick wall. Classic Tribeca arches built into the brick were left as is (or highlighted with mirrors). There are TVs in both the bar area and the dining room, with access to every NFL and college game.
The menu is mostly classic bar-and-grill, with surprising dashes here and there—kimchi in the short-rib empanadas, candied shallots alongside the hanger steak. A brunch menu will be available within two weeks. And even though the Tap House is meant to be low-key and easy, there are 20 beers on tap. “It’s a bar in Tribeca,” says McKeon. “You can’t forget where you are.”
Tribeca Tap House is at 363 Greenwich (between Franklin and Harrison), 212-510-8939; tribecataphouse.com. Delivery will be offered after the new year.
NOTE: To comment on Tribeca Tap House, please go to its page in the Tribeca Citizen Restaurant Guide.